Marriott’s CEO says that the pandemic has been a great opportunity for cost-cutting.
It’s been a wonderful opportunity to look at some of those things that are historic in nature and have no application in terms of the real life we live in today.
One of their areas of focus for cost-cutting is free breakfast at the brands where that’s offered, looking for ways that hopefully guests won’t notice.
[W]hen you think about it across our free breakfast brands, how do we simplify the breakfast offering? …How can we do it in a more cost-effective way? And at the end of the day, perhaps even deliver a better product and a better experience?
We’re beginning to see that cash out with changes announced for Fairfield Inn in Japan. Fairfields in Asia have offered hot breakfast. Going forward they’ll offer a breakfast box (emphasis mine):
Ranging in size from 21 to 25 square meters, each guestroom features comfortable beds, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a space-saving shower booth. The hotels also offer a Breakfast Box, allowing guests to start their mornings with a bento box filled with delicious local specialties as they prepare for the next stage of their journey.
Several Fairfields in Japan were reportedly not offering free breakfast and instead charging for it saying that the free breakfast brand standard didn’t apply there. Meanwhile, assuming Fairfields offer free breakfast, the Bonvoy terms don’t make it an elite benefit at the brand.
Don’t get me wrong. I do like the alliteration of Bento Box Breakfast. And I’d probably prefer paying for the contents of a bento box at a Fairfield Inn in Japan over whatever a DiamondRock-owned Marriott in North America is willing to give me as a Platinum member.
Just like Delta’s sleight of hand in announcing eco-friendly onboard amenities hoping you won’t notice they’re really just making service cuts permanent, or Frontier claiming they’re better for the environment hoping you’ll miss that the argument is they squeeze more passengers onto planes (so more travel for similar levels of emissions), Marriott buries the lede here that ‘breakfast boxes’ replace hot breakfast.